A heart-wrenching discussion followed by an overdue reunion.
A long-awaited discussion
The Hunt for Three Lost Teenagers
The Savannah Carnival has begun!
They’re all great kids, and each has made significant progress. Mona and I have encouraged solidarity among the kids at the complex, but we also make sure they know not to abandon their friends from school. We’ve heard varied experiences, but some of the kids have reported that their friends abandoned them once they started living at the halfway house. It would explain why some decide to stick around and volunteer for chores or hone their hobbies instead of seeking entertainment elsewhere. Others have friends who are allowed to come by, but have to be out by 21:00 so they can make it home in time to abide by the colony’s curfew.
Benji and Kent visit us often. Marilyn has stopped by at least once every few weeks. Monty has been too busy to visit more than once every couple of weeks, but other angels–like Cienna, Natalie, and Cassidy–swing by on Saturdays with a few of the guys. I think their presence has helped with the transition, with the message I’ve been trying to get across to these kids: we matter. They matter.
We have a lot of community activities and events to help the kids warm up to the place. They’ve all been pretty well-behaved for the most part–Tyler tried to get in a fight with Kaine, but Gavin and I shut it down real quick. Now the two act as if it never happened; the pair have become inseparable, even volunteering for market runs together.
Gabby has also been a huge help; she’s given us many suggestions for improvements, for ways that we can try to counsel the kids we take in. I have a complaint box outside my door that I check daily, and the number of complaints has gone down over time.
We also created flyers and questionnaires to inform students and get them thinking about their home environments. Questions like, “Are there times when you feel unsafe in your home?” or “Is there someone in your home that you are scared to be alone with?” I lost count of how many flyers and questionnaires I handed out last Thursday, but by Friday I had a ton of students come up and ask me about the halfway house. I never realized how many colonial kids were going through situations similar to what we went through as the children of bandits. I want to give them all a chance to feel safe, to give them all a home to feel welcome and loved.
A home for the unwanted, for even they are loved
How… Awkwardly… Romantic?